We all have time, if we use it right
I often reflect on how fleeting time is as I grow older. When someone refers to the 1950s and 1960s as the “old days,” it shocks me somewhat. The prolific author William Dean expressed it well: “You’ll find as you grow older that you weren’t born such a very great while ago after all.” To which I add, “even if others disagree.”
As my granddaughter flung her arms around my neck, hugging me tightly when she arrived home several weeks ago for a brief visit, I thought of how time seems to fly. My beautiful, precious, grown granddaughter’s hug reminded me of when she was a chubby-cheeked youngster sipping tea with “Grandmommy” during our tea parties and walks down a dusty road with a neighbor’s dog tagging along. Once when it kept stopping to sniff here and there, she announced she was calling it “Wonder Dog” because it wondered so much about things it saw.
I couldn’t help but ask myself wasn’t it just a few years ago that her mother and I tip-toed to the living room to watch the three-year-old bundle of energy at the piano. We were at work in the kitchen when we heard her singing “Jesus Loves Me” and accompanying herself on the piano. We kept quiet and still, watching as she finished and turned the pages of a hymnal as if to find a new song. She sang her new selection. Then after repeating her actions, she said, “That’s all,” closed the hymnal, pulled the cover down over the keys and hopped down from the piano bench.
Poets and authors have made statements about time, expressing different ideas. Longfellow, for example, wrote, “What is time—the shadow on the dial, the striking of the clock, the running of the sand, day and night, summer and winter, months, years, centuries—these are but the arbitrary and outward signs—the measure of time, not time itself. Time is the life of the soul.”
Scottish philosopher, historian and economist David Hume said, “A man’s time, when well husbanded, is like a cultivated field, of which a few acres produces more of what is useful to life than extensive provinces, even of the richest soil, when overrun with weeds and brambles.”
German poet and philosopher Johann von Goethe said that we always have time enough, if we will but use it aright. Do you ever complain that you didn’t do something because you didn’t have time? I certainly do. I need to remind myself that I am allotted as much time in a day as the next person. So do I really have an excuse?
Through the years as I have turned page after page in my calendars, my happy, snuggly little granddaughter has grown into an intelligent and mature young woman. But no matter her age, she still touches my heart and makes me happy when she hugs “Grandmommy” just like those times long ago when we had tea parties and strolled with Wonder Dog.
Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper industry.